WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – On 12 January, the first meeting of the Russia-NATO Council since 2019 will take place in Brussels to discuss security guarantees in Europe.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has called on the US to abandon aggressive rhetoric against Russia and move NATO forces away from the Russian borders.
“It’s time to abandon the aggressive rhetoric of foreign expansion and think about how future generations will live together. To do this, you need to do very little – respect your neighbour, avoid threats and move your military potential away from the Russian borders,” Antonov said in a statement posted on the diplomatic mission’s Facebook.
The Russian ambassador has also noted that Moscow “categorically” rejects “provocative statements” by high-ranking US officials aimed at torpedoing the Russia-US negotiation process.
“We will not allow developments that would undermine the independence and sovereignty of the Russian Federation,” he said.
The Russian ambassador statement comes ahead of a Russia-NATO Council meeting on security guarantees that will take place later on Wednesday at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
On Monday, the Russian and American delegations led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, respectively, held closed consultations on Moscow’s security proposals.
In December, Russia presented draft agreements on security guarantees in Europe to the United States and NATO. These guarantees include legal obligations that NATO will refrain from advancing eastwards and accepting new members from the former Soviet Union, especially Ukraine and Georgia, as these have expressed their desire to join NATO, as well as to refrain from creating NATO military bases on the territories of former Soviet countries. Another proposal is the non-deployment of short- and intermediate-range missiles in the region.